Person walking on red sandstone cliff on Cap_aux_Meules Island in the Iles de la Madeleine Magdalen Islands, Quebec, Canada, North America
Donald Nausbaum/© Donald Nausbaum
It must have come as a great surprise to early sailors to suddenly find eight sandbar islands stretching some 40 miles through the middle of the vast Gulf of St. Lawrence. The Magdalen Islands, or Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine in French, were first visited by the Mi’kmaq, an Eastern Algonquian tribe. Later, Acadians settled here and lived off of seal and walrus hunting. Their old stone houses remain, as does the fine lighthouse at Les Caps.